Victims Compensation Tribunal (VCT) Restitution Orders
If you have been found guilty of an offence involving an act of violence that resulted in an injury to a person, you may be liable to pay restitution to Victims Services if the victim received an Award of compensation from the Victims Compensation Fund.
It is not necessary for you to have been convicted of the offence – even persons whose guilt was proved without a conviction recorded, pursuant to Section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act, are liable.
The maximum liability is $50,000, however the amount awarded to a victim is ultimately determined by an Assessor at Victims Services having regard to a schedule contained within the relevant legislation.
Provisional Order for Restitution
The first document that the ‘offender’ will receive is a Provisional Order for Restitution accompanied by explanatory papers, including details of the date that compensation was awarded to the victim, the amount paid and the facts upon which the decision to pay compensation to the victim was made.
Unless you are content to pay the amount specified in the Order, you should ensure that you lodge a Notice of Objection to a Provisional order for Restitution within 28 days and that your objection complies with the rules and identifies the relevant grounds of objection.
Failure to object, or to object within 28 days after service of the Provisional Order will result in the Provisional Order being confirmed as a judgment debt enforceable against you.
Why Now? This Happened Ages Ago
There is a time limit that applies to the making of a Provisional Order for Restitution. It may not be made if 2 or more years have elapsed since the date of conviction (or finding of guilt) or the date of the award of compensation – whichever is the latter.
Although there is also a limit of 2 years from the date of the act of violence for a victim to make a claim, they may apply out of time. This frequently occurs in cases of sexual assault or indecent assault where the complaint is sometimes delayed.
Some people receiving restitution orders may be just getting back on their feet after losing their job or their liberty as a consequence of the conviction or finding of guilt – all the more reason to see of one our criminal law experts for the right advice.
How can Nyman Gibson Miralis assist you?
Our defence lawyers work exclusively in criminal law and have the experience to guide and assist you in objecting to the Provisional Order and preventing a Final Order being made in the original amount sought at any recovery proceedings or Tribunal hearing.
Our specialists will make sure that the correct information is set out in the Notice of Objection and prepare your case for a Restitution Hearing in the event that a negotiated outcome cannot be achieved to the satisfaction of all parties.
Results that we have achieved by negotiation include substantial reductions to the original amount sought – sometimes as much as a 80% or 90% reduction.
Results that we have achieved at hearing include reducing a provisional order of $50,000 to zero. Each case is different however, and the results obtained depend on your financial circumstances and any other matter considered relevant by the Tribunal.
The tribunal is located in Parramatta, across the road from our Parramatta office.
It does not matter where you live in NSW or even if you now live interstate or overseas, we can represent you at the Tribunal with a view to reducing or wiping out the restitution order.
Another advantage to using the criminal law specialists at Nyman Gibson Miralis is that you do not have to bring your local lawyer to Parramatta if you live far away – especially if you live out of Sydney.